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5 Video Platforms to Watch — Startup Outlook Issue 6

in Reports & Whitepapers, Startup News with tags , , , , , , Both comments and trackbacks are closed.

The sixth edition of our Startup Outlook report is all about video and the emerging platforms that are changing the game for brands and people alike. This month’s issue profiles five companies – Broadcast for Friends from Ustream, SundaySky, Tout, Viddy and VideoGenie – through the lens of 360i’s Startup Scorecard. We created this scoring system to give brands a framework for vetting opportunities with startups.

You can download a PDF version of this report (and five others) at www.startupoutlook.com.

Broadcast for Friends by Ustream

Value

Ustream, launched in 2007, may not be a startup, but its new Broadcast For Friends (BFF) offering is an exciting emerging technology product launched by one of the better known providers of live streaming offerings. People can use BFF to stream live video directly to their Facebook page, embedded within a post. Users can add filters that instantly appear for viewers and comments appear in real time, with hardly any delay. Brands can have Facebook page moderators share live video streams directly to their feeds.

Applicability

For brands looking to find new ways to connect with their Facebook audiences, this is one more tool to consider. This would work best for live events, or for brands featuring celebrities or other talent.

Prominence

Videos are viewed via Facebook’s News Feed, rather than the Ustream app or site. Most of the time, marketers and page owners using BFF will do so at a planned time, rather than spontaneously, so they should consider building up demand for the live stream by creating a Facebook event, sending email alerts and running paid media.

Ingenuity

Before BFF, Ustream launched an app to stream live video to a Ustream channel, and competitors also offer live streaming apps. The twist with BFF is that marketers can deliver video directly to where people spend the most time online – Facebook. BFF is simple, convenient, and brings the conversation happening on Facebook right back into the app to create opportunities for two-way engagement.

SundaySky

Value

SundaySky takes any kind of data feed and turns it into a series of customized videos. This provides unique opportunities to add video to the mix, which include using an email database to create customized videos based on prospects’ preferences, generating a feed of products viewed on a retailer’s site to then create thousands of customized videos used in retargeting ads, or using a customer’s account history to create a personalized walkthrough of how to understand their bill (with upselling opportunities embedded throughout). These are all actual examples of how marketers have used SundaySky, with the potential to display the video anywhere, including on-site, email, mobile, social, or in pre-roll ads.

Applicability

Given its wide range of use cases, most marketers could probably find an application for SundaySky. What’s interesting is that in any of the scenarios above, marketers didn’t necessarily need to use video and may not have been considering it initially; it just happened to be an effective form of content delivery and SundaySky made it efficient to serve the content in a multimedia format.

Prominence

Brands are able to craft their own experiences with SundaySky, so each engagement will be customized very specifically to the marketer’s needs.

Ingenuity

Marketers are just starting to appreciate the value of Big Data, and SundaySky is far more interesting for what it does with marketers’ data than the videos it produces. There are other companies trying to address similar needs, such as EyeView, which takes video assets and personalizes them based on user and advertiser data. SundaySky stands out because it can be used to create video using a range of creative assets, even when video hasn’t been part of the mix already.

Tout

Value

Tout is a video sharing app that is focused on conversation. People or brands upload brief videos and other users are encouraged to respond via video. It’s perhaps the closest service to a video-based Twitter. Updates can be shared to Twitter, Facebook, or via a website widget. Viewers can participate and respond through mobile apps on iOS and Android, or via their PC’s webcam

Applicability

Tout will be especially appealing for entertainment marketers. WWE, Live with Kelly and Michael, and EA Sports Madden are among the most popular users.

Prominence

Brands can sign up as a user and Tout will feature select users within its mobile app. Brands can also create a widget for their site that showcases video updates and viewers’ responses.

Ingenuity

Compared to services like Viddy (see the next featured startup), Tout is much more focused on video conversation where entire threads take place via video. That can make it harder to skim and scan a content thread, but it can be more engaging for the most passionate fans.

Viddy

Value

Viddy is a content sharing application often described as ‘Instagram for video.’ Often these comparisons do a disservice to both parties, but in this case, it’s accurate, as Viddy does seem to function exactly as Instagram would if it included video uploads along with photos. Viddy lets people upload brief videos, touch them up with filters and a soundtrack and share them across Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube. Brands in turn can create profiles and run contests, generally using hashtags – exactly as marketers do with Instagram.

Applicability

Brands as diverse as Elle, GE, Southwest Airlines and “Project Runway” are actively using Viddy. Any marketer investing in sharing videos and soliciting user-generated content can consider Viddy as one option, especially for reaching people via mobile devices.

Prominence

Brands generally must build their own audience, encouraging their fans and others to follow them on Viddy.

Ingenuity

Viddy is in a very competitive space, as it must go head to head with the other companies profiled here, as well as YouTube. Yet it has done well generally by following Instagram’s approach—meeting a consumer need with an intuitive and fun product. It doesn’t hurt that celebrities like Snoop Dogg actively participate. Viddy and its investors will now need to see if it can mirror Instagram’s growth.

VideoGenie

Value

At its core, VideoGenie offers a technology product that allows brands to solicit video feedback and content from consumers from multiple sources (websites, Facebook pages, mobile apps, display ads), moderate responses, and distribute the videos via owned, earned, and paid media. Brands can run contests to generate videos, or curate consumer responses about a topical theme with the brand playing the role of the producer rather than the star.

Applicability

Many brands can benefit from customer testimonials and brands in all verticals are coming up with creative ways to produce and share video. This can be especially useful when brands are launching new products.

Prominence

VideoGenie is entirely a B2B offering for brands rather than a destination for reviews and testimonials. One of the most notable features of VideoGenie is how well both the recording and distribution of consumers’ videos can integrate with a brand’s ads, website, social channels and mobile presence.

Ingenuity

Video testimonials are hardly new; Amazon has incorporated them for years. Most brands can do far more with them, as people will inherently trust their peers and fellow consumers more than the brand’s website or ads. VideoGenie has done well at looking at the various ways brands digitally interact with consumers and adapting their offering accordingly.